Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Haul Out

he Monday after we sailed Windsong into St. Augustine we finally hauled her out to begin the massive rebuild. I had been anticipating this moment since I bought the boat about a year ago. I had never seen the hull below the waterline but knew a little bit of what to expect. I dove down to check the bottom once, but it was too murky to see anything. I could feel blisters however near the waterline so I figured I would have a few of them. Windsong was kept in warm Florida fresh water for a long time without a bottom job, ripe conditions for blister problems. I feared that she may have a case of full blown pox - a condition of thousands of tiny gel coat blisters covering the entire hull. This was the worst case scenario and I wanted to be prepared for it. I didn't expect any other major problems with the hull, though I anticipated some damage on the keel from when we ran hard aground. During the past year I have been studying all that I will need to do to the hull depending on its condition.

It was a gross morning with a ton of rain. We hauled her out in the downpour and I got a first look at the bottom

Proud owner :)

After the haul they gave her a good pressure wash. There wasn't much growth on the bottom, just some slime. She had only been in salt water for about two months and the water was pretty cold the whole time, so barnacles didn't get time to grow. The pressure wash was taking off chunks of old paint that had begun to deteriorate over time. It turns out, the gel coat blisters I thought I felt were actually just paint blisters and chipped off with the pressurewash.

I had to leave to work half way through the pressure wash, but thankfully the weather cleared up later on for me to check her out on the stands.

Decades of old anti-fouling paint chipping away.

Depth sounding transducer, paint blisters

keel damage

thru hulls

Rudder and prop

The prop was in surprisingly good shape. I thought the cutlass bearing would be shot since there was a ton of vibration when motoring at cruising RPMs. It turns out there is some sort of shim that slides under the prop and into the bearing tube. This shim somehow broke, making the prop loose and explaining many strange noises and vibration.

I am concerned about this area that the rudder attaches to. Lots of cracking and whatnot

The zinc. This appears to be the only zinc, with all thru hulls wired to it. I anticipated bad problems with electrolysis since it had been so long since a zinc was replaced, but somehow it is still there.

Port side paint

I discovered many things about the hull as I began to remove the many layers of paint. I'll detail the first two weeks of work in the next post. I am having computer problems at home so I cannot upload any new pictures that were taken after the haul out. As soon as I get them up I'll post and keep a more frequent progress report going.


bob said...

You are missing your prop nut zinc.

And that arrangement with the "shims" looks awfully funky to me... almost looks like someone tried to make the wrong size prop fit the shaft.

Wait - given that the shims are being used both on the prop and on the cutlass bearing, I wonder if someone has put in a too-small shaft?


bob said...

Also, I believe that the plate you are referring to as the zinc is actually a ground plate - for the radio or for lightening protection. It looks like it's sintered bronze.

Erick said...

Bob, take a look at this picture. I think this is the lightning/grounding plate and the other is a zinc. I could be mistaken, but that is what it seems like to me:

Also, about the prop, you are correct that something isn't sized right. Some guys at the yard seem to have seen setups like this before. I'll do my research and see if it is kosher or not.

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

We hauled out our sailboat about 6 weeks ago and just finished the blister repairs. We know about the hard work ahead. Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Two heads are better than one. ............................................................

Dougm said...


There's a product called On/Off that will do a good job cleaning up the brown "moustache" at the waterline forward, and the staining at the stern. I used it on my boat and was pretty impressed. Wear goggles if you use it though, I think it's mostly muriatic acid.

Good luck and have fun with the project!


Barco Sin Vela II said...

Another mustache remover is Sno-Bowl. Wear goggles and gloves, it burns.

As for the bottom; See if you can get a good deal on Soda Blasting. I had that done on my trawler a couple years back, it took off all of the bottom paint with out being as damaging as sand blasting or rotary sander pads.

長卉長卉 said...

What must be must be. ............................................................

bob said...

Hi Erik -

The photo you referred to in your comments is definitely a ground plate. The color of the plate in the original posting photo looks bronze colored, not silver like zinc, but that could just be a photographic artifact (did you take it at sunset?).

good luck!